If you’re in the vinyl camp when it comes to the vinyl versus digital debate, then there’s every chance that you’ll like the Smiley Spesiale 2017 from Ryan Mostert. It’s a 20-day skin contact Chenin Blanc from 17-year-old Paardeberg vineyards. No yeast, no sulphur added, no fining or filtering, maturation in older French oak lasting 15 months.
Amber in colour, the nose is complex and compelling – top notes of potpourri and fynbos before marmalade and stone fruit, ginger and spice, a hint of honey and perhaps some mint humbug. It’s rich and broad despite a modest alcohol of 12.5% – a slight greasy quality in terms of texture but there’s also nicely tangy acidity and a little phenolic grip to the finish. Super-tasty stuff. Wine Cellar price: R185 a bottle.
Editor’s rating: 94/100.
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